My dog died.
Even though we were expecting it, I never expected the emotions that came after that. My dog was about to turn 13 years old when she died. I had been preparing myself for her death for months but nothing could have prepared me for that call.
Once my dad told us that she was gone, he invited us over his house to see her for one last time. When we arrived, she was lying in a bucket in the backyard with the blanket covering her body. As we stepped outside, I found myself questioning whether or not I could handle seeing her like this but I did it anyway knowing that I would regret doing otherwise.
I lifted the blanket and rubbed her cold leg. She looked like she was asleep. I can’t explain the pain that washed over me after walking away from her. The sadness of knowing you will never again see someone that you’ve known for 12 years is something I never could have prepared for.
I have watched others lose their pets and have disregarded them; I figured ‘how hard can it be to lose a pet? They aren’t human, after all.’ I was wrong.
I think what’s even worse is feeling the pain and knowing that I will survive it. As odd as it sounds, after enduring the pain of life, having to just endure and deal with this added pain is even harder.
After everyone said there goodbye’s, we took her to the vet. At this point, my entire family has cried and said our goodbyes. It is almost 1 in the morning and I told my job I may not arrive the next morning but later redacted it because I could not sleep. I went to bed about 3 in the morning but figured I’d just cry it out before I went to work and be fine.
But I wasn’t. I cried and cried on the way to work and at work. I especially cried when the beloved Peeta song ‘In the Arms of An Angel’ came on.
Needless to say I went home and did absolutely nothing.
Which brings me to the point of this post- I didn’t expect that response. I just thought I’d snap back like I always do; I figured I would have sad thoughts but nothing that would prevent me from doing my job and stopping my life.
But I couldn’t.
I couldn’t be strong anymore. I had no more strength to hide my feelings and “move on.”
I have had a tough year/years and I have never not been able to work because of any situation. But when you think about it, it makes sense to not be okay after losing someone you’ve loved for 12 years- pet or not.
I learned that I need to give myself time to process what happens to me. I learned that employers are important but I am useless to them if I can’t function and be physically and mentally there. Even now, I still receive pangs of hurt- it’s a heart squeezing, gut wrenching feeling that begins the nauseating illusion of becoming ill. It really is powerful knowing that you never see someone again.